Guiding Principles for Unit/Department Return to Campus During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since January, SDSU’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and working to ensure the health and safety of SDSU’s students, employees and visitors. Operations have been altered with students completing the semester online and employees working remotely where possible.
On May 1, 2020, the South Dakota Board of Regents and the presidents of the six regental institutions announced they are committed to resuming on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester to provide opportunities for teaching, learning and co-curricular activities in an appropriate manner. With that in mind, EMT and the JacksRBack task force have decided university functions will operate under the following guiding principles:
- SDSU is committed to participating in and upholding the principles of public health in our operations;
- Planning for a safe return will include a focus on academics; employees; student life; research, scholarship and creative activities; athletics and the Brookings community;
- Decisions pertaining to a return to campus operations will be made with the health and safety of our students, employees and anyone who engages with SDSU considered;
- SDSU administrators will utilize guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Dakota Department of Health and ad hoc medical and epidemiological expertise in their decision-making processes;
- SDSU will collaborate with local health care clinics and South Dakota Department of Health for virus testing, serological testing and contact tracing as dictated by the most current public health regulations and guidance;
- SDSU is steadfast in our mission of providing access to higher education and creating a rich intellectual experience for the purpose of learning, research, scholarship and creative activities whether a student is able to return to campus in fall 2020 or requires an alternative opportunity to ensure academic progress;
- SDSU may direct remote or on-site work performance by employees in the most effective and efficient manner possible;
- SDSU will continue to operate within our core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, operating with integrity, commitment to diversity and achieving excellence; and
- Changes in key metrics such as hospitalization rates, level of community spread or the emergence of a localized “hot spot,” as well as other emerging information about the COVID-19 virus and related guidance, will be the metrics for movement into more restrictive plan phases or less restrictive plan phases depending on the trend direction of these monitored data points.